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Presidential race: the pace setters

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Paul Hyett and Alex Reid have declared their intention of standing in the election to succeed Marco Goldschmied as the next RIBA president. Here the AJ reveals both men's manifestoes


Paul Hyett, 48, is director of London practice Hyett Salisbury Whitely and is currently RIBA vice president for education.

He is a council member of the Architectural Association and is an examiner at Queen's University in Belfast and Liverpool University.

Hyett will:

Make education his most single important issue.

'The profession is nothing if it isn't competent and suitable.The priority has to be preparing the next generation for the workload which awaits them. I think everything stems from that, ' he says.

Make clients think of architects first when they plan a new building. 'Architecture is in such disrepute that people are saying they would rather have a building delivered by a QS or a project manager or a contractor, ' he says.

Rebrand the institute - 'from the notepaper, to the reception staff, to the tired wall hangings'.

Improve communications so the RIBA has a united view on topics such as the Urban Task Force.

Halt the tendency to continually reorganise the RIBA. 'The staff are fed up with it and the members are fed up with it. We should be outward looking not inward-looking, ' he says.

Allow non-architect professionals in other parts of the building industry to use the RIBA suffix in their professional life. 'I want to acknowledge the people in the world of architecture who have contributed substantially to the built environment in nontraditional routes, people such as clients, developers and estate managers, ' he says. 'If you haven't got Parts 1,2 and 3 you can't register and so can't use the RIBA suffix. I have already opened discussions with the ARB on how we might adjust this.'

Introduce a full-time staff member to provide practical advice to young practitioners. Everybody will be entitled to 15 minutes of free advice.

Introduce a serviced members room at RIBA headquarters with access to e-mail, the Internet, a typist, and a client meeting room.

Promote sustainable design by working with other professional organisations to formulate new ideas.He will work with the government to set out new parameters for sustainability in design briefs.

Define the ARB/RIBA relationship. 'We must ensure a situation where we work with them in total confidence. I want them to do what they are supposed to do properly, and nothing else, ' he says.

Hyett will not:

Support the proposal to elect the president through an electoral college rather than through the membership.


Until this summer Alex Reid, 59, was director general of the RIBA and, despite the fact he has never designed a building, he is a qualified architect.

The majority of his career has been in management and he was chief executive of DEGW in the 1980s.

Reid will:

Provide better practical services to members and give them better value for their subscription fee.

'My convinced view is that the best way to promote architecture is to help architects do their jobs better, ' he says. 'This will help attract members, increase income and increase influence.'

Do more to bring clients to architects, with initiatives such as a freephone number for potential clients to contact the RIBA and clear, simple leaflets on the counters of all building societies and estate agents, promoting the use of architects. There will also be more illustrated examples of architects' work on the RIBA website.

Change the make-up of the RIBA's leadership to reduce the number of Londoners. He wants the composition of the RIBA leadership to reflect the balance between London and the rest of the country in the membership. Currently nine out of 12 on the policy management board are from London.

Travel the country on a regular basis to meet with practicing architects, face to face.

Continue the RIBA's stance stressing the importance of sustainability. He will provide tools to help architects sell sustainability to their clients and so achieve sustainable design.

Increase the number of members using RIBA web services from 10 per cent to as high as 90 per cent.

'The Internet has huge potential for breaking down barriers between the leadership and the membership, ' he says. 'There is huge scope to increase the take up of the services we already have.'

Help architects through the 'jungle of regulation', with closer contact between the RIBA and its members.

Improve links with other professional institutes.

'The best way of achieving maximum impact for the RIBA's resources is to work with others, ' he says.

Increase the amount of continuous professional development carried out in association with other professions. 'This will help break down the barriers between them, ' he says.

Raise public appreciation of the mass of 'mainstream, well-executed' projects around the country '. Spectacular projects look after themselves in terms of publicity, ' he says.

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